News in brief:
More exclusive Avios hotel deals
avios.com has sent me details of their latest special offers for booking hotel rooms via their hotel booking portal.
Hilton Heathrow T5 (which is not actually in the airport) is included. A 3-night stay from 20th May is £309 at the Hilton HHonors member rate. Via avios.com it is £230 + 2,100 Avios which works out at almost 4p per point.
At the luxury end, the Rocco Forte Hotel de Russie in Rome is £2,450 for the same three nights in a classic room. Via avios.com it is 15,750 Avios + £1,495 which gets you 6p per point. If you choose to pay entirely in Avios, however, the value drops back to 0.78p.
Similar deals are available at the Excelsior in Hong Kong, Blue Waters in Antigua, Turim in Lisbon and the Hilton at Madrid Airport. It is not clear when these deals end but they were still active last night.
Starwood Preferred Guest category changes announced
You can see the list here. The list of increases and decreases is roughly 60 / 40. The biggest shock will be at the 30+ hotels moving from Category 5 (12,000 – 16,000 points per night) to Category 6 (20,000 – 25,000 points per night). That is a big jump.
It was interesting to see the fantastic St Regis in Istanbul, where I was last week (review to follow), dropping to Category 6. With room rates in Istanbul at record lows at the moment, however, a redemption will still not be great value. Rooms were selling for €260 when I was there compared with 30,000 points. I would usually expect more than double the value for an SPG redemption.
In the UK, The Park Lane Hotel in London jumps from Category 5 to 6. This hotel is currently coming to the end of a massive refurbishment so the increase may be justified – see the new room photo above. The Great Northern Hotel at Kings Cross is also increasing to Category 6 just a few months after joining SPG.
Meanwhile, the Hotel Kämp in Helsinki is leaving Starwood on 29th February. I only stayed there once, in pre-HfP days, but I remember being hugely impressed by it. It is reportedly joining the ‘Leading Hotels of the World’ marketing group.
How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (September 2021)
There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.
The official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card usually comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year.
You can apply here.
You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.
Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as they hold the card? It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status. We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.
Until 2nd November 2021, The Platinum Card comes with a sign-up bonus of 60,000 Amex points. This converts into 90,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.
You can also earn American Express Membership Rewards points with American Express Gold (20,000 bonus points), the American Express Rewards Credit Card (5,000 bonus points) and – for small business owners – American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus points) and Business Platinum (40,000 bonus points).
(Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)